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McCoy Biography

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McCoy Biography

Jason Ross (View posts)
Posted: 921499200000
Classification: Biography
Surnames: McCoy
This excerpt comes from History of Creighton Missouri (Cass County) "A Bicentennial Town" 1885-1976 Pp 267-276; Author Unknown.


The McCoy family emigrated form Scotland via Ireland arriving in the early 18th century. They came to Virginia, landing in the James River area, then moved up the river to the Tidewater region where they settled. Life on the new frontier was rugged. They engaged in agriculture, road building, carpentering, and milling to make a livelihood, and through many difficult years defended their homes and families from Indians.
Lewis McCoy, native of Greenbriar County where he was born in 1776, was the father of John McCoy, born 1803 in Greenbriar County. John McCoy married Letitia Dalton, a native Virginian, and they accompanied the father, Lewis when he brought the family to Missouri in 1838. They settled in Lafayette County and Lewis died there in 1870 at the age of ninety-four.
John McCoy, son of Lewis moved to Henry County in 1845 and then to Cass County in 1866, locating on the future townsite of Grant. The land was purchased from William Morrison and Lotspiech who had entered it. The deed for this land had been signed by President Franklin Pierce in 1856. John sold forty acres to be used for the townsite of the now extinct town of Grant. John and his wife, Letitia had the following children: James A., Mary Jane (Rader), Mason Luis, Rennick, Elizabeth (Haskell), Amos F, Nancy Sabina and John F. they were twins. Letitia died in 1862 and John in 1869 and both were buried in the McCoy Cemetery, now known as the Kepner Cemetery.
Mason Louis McCoy, son of John and Letitia, was born in Greenbriar County, Virginai, in 1829 and came with his parents to Lafayette County in 1838. He became a man with vast experience in the new and undeveloped west of the early 19th century. For a number of years he was a train boss for the firm of Russell, Maj9ors, and Wadell, who pioneered overland fright as a commercial venture. These trips took him over the plains many times along the Sante Fe, Oregon, and California Trails. During the Civil War, his family lived on the old homestead northwest of Urich and much of his time was spent in Sedalia where he served in the Home Guards. Mason Louis and Mary Baker McCoy were the parents of nine children: John, Elizabeth (McClung), William, Evaline (Peake), Letita (who married Richardson and second husband Johnson) Robert, Dollie (Hildebrant), George, and one who died in infancy. Mason Louis McCoy was a resident of Henry County from 1854 until his death in 1917. His passing seemed to mark the end of an era. He and his wife, Mary Baker McCoy, who died in 1915, ware buried in Urich Cemetery.
John McCoy, eldest son of Mason Louis and Mary Baker McCoy, was born December 29, 1855 in Henry County. At a v3ery young age, he left home to work as a farm laborer to become independent. He purchased a farm about two miles southeast of Creighton. He married Mary Eliza (Mollie) Godwin, a native of Indiana. They were the parents of three children: Alford Franklin, born January 26, 1882, Joseph Randol, born January 6, 1885, and Mayme Frances (Hale), born September 26, 1891. John and the two sons were a great force in their community, working for better roads, schools, and to improve communication, built and maintained their telephone line. John McCoy had received his education in ta private school conducted by Marcus Hendricks in his home just north of Urich. Later a frame school building was built which burned. This was replaced by the Oak Grove School, built on McCoy land. John's children and grandchildren attended this school and granddaughter Claudine began her teaching career here.
Alford Franklin McCoy, Eldest son of John and Mary E., married Ella Josephine Crissman, daughter of Thomas Jefferson and Mary Alice Crissman, in 1906. They made their home on a farm one and one half miles southeast of Creighton. Throught the years they devoted much effort to improving this farm and buildings between Creighton and Urich and to obtain the new state road, Highway 7, which was being built at the time of his death. Alford and Josephine had two children, Claudine (Baldus) 1907, and Mary Lee (Dougherty) 1914. In 1918, Josephine died of post-surgery infection, leaving the young father to care for two children.. His parents came to his assistance, and, when in November the same year, John died of a stroke, Mary E. came to care for the children. IN 1920, Alford married Beulah Sloan Williams. Two sons were born to this union: John Coburn, 1921, who was stricken with Infantile Paralysis and died at the age of three years and Hugh Sloan, who died in infancy. Alford McCoy died February 29, 1932.
Claudine McCoy Baldus graduated from Urich High School and attended Central Missouri Teachers College, Warrensburg. She taught in rural schools, Oak Grove, Lucas, the Creighton Elementary School and in the Creighton High School, seeing that school develop from a two year school to a four year high school in 1932. In 1935 she was married to Frank Joseph Baldus, Independence, a teacher in the Kansas City, Missouri Public School for 47 years before his retirement. During the World War II Claudine resumed teaching. For seven years she taught music in the Independence Junior High School. In 1953-63 she served on the Board of Education, Independence. The Balduses are active in civic and cultural affairs. Mr. Baldus in chairman of the Historical Society Bicentennial marking of Historic Sites in Independence. Mrs. Baldus spearheaded a project to develop the Old Spring Park and Visitor's Center marking a historic landmark.
Mary Lee McCoy attended school in Creighton and finished high school in Liberty. She is a graduate nurse form Trinity Lutheran Nursing school. After three years of private nursing she became a hostess for TWA, later becoming chief hostess. She married Harry F. Doughterty, Kansas City, just before he lefte to serve in the European Theater of World War II (1944). He was a member of the Signal Corps. After the war they returned to Kansas City. They are the parents of three children, all born in Kansas City: Deborah Ann (1950) married to Tom Silbury in 1970 in Santa Clara County, California, James Michael, 1951, who has his own painting business in San Jose, California, Kara Lee, 1957. The family moved to San Jose, California. Mr. Doughterty is a manufacturer's representative and Mary Lee is employed at O'Conner Hospital, San Jose.
Undaunted by the death of Alford in 1932, at the age of 50, and the loss of her two sons, Beulah Sloan McCoy had the courage and business acumen to maintain the family on the farm through the depression. She encouraged Claudine and Mary Lee to continue their education. Always, she was willing to give a helping hand to those who needed her. For several years she made her home with her brother, Samuel Sloan, and helped rear his three sons when their mother died. She is a member of the Creighton Methodist Church, giving freely of her time and money. She is making her home in Scottsdale, Arizona.


John William McCoy was born at Wadesburg, Cass County, Missouri, 1867.
His great grandfather, Lewis McCoy, his wife, their son, John, his wife, Letitia Dalton McCoy, and their two sons, Mason Lewis, born February 9, 1829, and William Rennick, born February 28, 1834 all left Greenbrier County, West Virginia in 1838 and settled in Lafayette County, Missouri. Lewis McCoy lived there until his death at age 94 years. John and Letitia Dalton McCoy and family left Lafayette County, Missouri, and settled in Henry County, Missouri., in 1854. They purchased a farm two miles southeast of where Creighton, Missouri was later located, when the railroad came through in 1885. In 1865, John McCoy sold his farm in Henry County and moved to Sherman Township, Cass County Missouri. In 1866, he purchased 580 acres of land from William Mornison and Lotspeich. He sold 40 acres of land to be laid out as a town site of Grant, Missouri by H.V. Stahl. It occupied the Southeast Quarter, of the Northwest Quarter, of Section 12, Township 43, Range 29, near Grant Cemetery. William Rennick McCoy volunteered to serve in the Union Army. He enlisted at Harrisonville Missouri, March 8, 1862 and was mustered in at Warrensburg, Missouri two days later. He was injured in the summer of 1863, and hospitalized at Springfield Missouri, then mustered out August 31, 1863, for disability.
He drove for Russell, Majors and Wadell, Overland Freight for seven years and crossed the country from Westport Landing, Missouri to Fort Benton, Montana, many times. A hard way to make a living, but he was a pioneer, wise in the ways of the wilderness. His mother, Letitia Dalton Mccoy, died in 1862, and his father John McCoy, died May 29, 1869. They are both buried at Kepner Cemetery.
William Rennick McCoy married Martha Jane Tedder, daughter of John Grey and S.A. Tedder. Four children were born to them:
John William, the subject of this sketch, Louella, Lennah E., and Myrtle J. Louella and Myrtle J. died in infancy. Their mother, Martha Jane Tedder McCoy died April 26, 1876. She and her two daughters are buried in Grant Cemetery. John W. and Lennah E. were taken into the home and care of their great aunt, Jane H. Smith, who, after the loss of her two infant daughters, cared for twenty-six orphans or motherless children in her home at various times. John and Lennah McCoy were the only ones who were related to her. At her death in 1887 she left her farm in Bogard Township, Henry County, Missouri, to John W. McCoy. He and his sister Lennah continued to live there. When Mary Ellen Parker, their aunt, died John took his cousin, Ralph Parker, age 12 years old and Lennah took Ralph's year old sister, Lola Grey Parker and kept them in their homes. William Rennick McCoy died at Creighton, Missouri, May 29, 1905, and was interred at Grant Cemetery beside his wife.
John W. McCoy and Bessie Bell Walker, daughter of S. Perry and Marial Cottingham Walker, were married January 7, 1891. They had 3 daughters. Hazel L., Helen L. and Ruth M. They sold their farm north of Creighton and move to a farm southwest of Creighton. October 30, 1905, a son, Rolla B. was born. Bessie B. Walker McCoy died November 7, 1905, and was buried in Grant Cemetery. In the summer of 1906, John McCoy went to Billings, Montana to a land drawing, filed on a homestead one and one half miles east of BigHorn, Montana and built a house. In Nov.1906 he married Huldah Starks and in the last week of April 1907, loaded a boxcar, and left with it, to care for the livestock going to Billings. A few days later, the family left on the B & Q passenger train. Father met us at the train and was very concerned when he realized Hazel was not with us. She decided to stay in Missouri and marry Chas W. Cox, instead of pioneering in Montana.
We took the local train, the Dinky, on to BigHorn, and arrived May 3, 1907. We soon settled into our new surroundings and began planning for things to which we had been accustomed; such as a Post Office, store, school, church, a bank, telephones and many other things that were not there. We planted a big garden and grain to prepare for winter. We planted strawberries and raspberries, canned vegetables, and fruits for winter. The transportation to get out of the valley was poor. The Yellowstone and Big Horn Rivers had no wagon bridges across them on the north and west, no road through the east hills - we could go south up Sarpy and Tullock Creeks. We got coal from Sarpy for free. During the 1970's, the railroad built a spur up Sarpy to get the coal out from the strip mines, to help with the energy crises. Custer, the next town west of us, was where we got our mail, groceries and banked by using the Dinky train. The railroad section foreman would take us on a handcar (pump it yourself one). We had to cross a railroad bridge, then through a long tunnel in the 7 miles to Custer. A neighbor, Mr. Mauro was on a one-man speeder in the tunnel, when a passenger train over took him. He hopped off the speeder, ran back toward the oncoming train and flattened himself against the floor and wall of the tunnel and escaped injury. Some hardy souls would drive their cars across the Railroad Bridge. All of these things had an element of danger, but that was the way it was at BigHorn. As a member of the first school board John McCoy lead the effort to get a school district and schoolhouse at BigHorn. By October 1, 1907, the families with school aged children decided if their kids went to school that winter, it would be through their own efforts. They rented a little log building, bought a heating stove, made benches for desks, and lower ones for us to sit on (no backs), from the outside slabs of where logs were squared to cut limber, put round pole legs into them, and we were ready for a teacher. They hired a girl in the Valley, each family paying so much per student per month. School ran until June of 1908. Yes, this was all quite primitive, but answered our purpose, although we did have to pick splinters out of each other's anatomy. By the time school opened in 1908, the Forsyth district did rent a vacant residence, hire a teacher and supplied us with book: and other school supplies. When our third school year started in Sept., 1909, we had a nice new school building. It was also used for a community building. We had church and Sunday School, voting group and community meetings, group dinners dances, parties, Debate, and Literary Societies there. They no longer hold school there, but it is still the Community building. A general store was built and opened in the fall of 1907 by A.A. Armstrong. He soon established a Post Office for BigHorn in his store.
The first summer we were there a band of Indians, men, women and children were off the reservation. There were 100 to 150 of them swarming around our house. They laid their hands flat beside their eyes and peered in the windows at us. Father was not there and it was quite a frightening experience. Helen and Ruth saw a squaw they had talked with at the Billings Depot, opened the door and talked to her. She said that they had not seen many heating stoves and wanted to buy one that was setting outside our door. We explained to her that it was not ours to sell. She assured us that all was well and that we would not be harmed Our Indian friend, Lucy Old Horn, was a college graduate and had a part in tribal affairs. They came two more summers, would go into the store, take anything they wanted, stick it under their blankets, and not pay for it. No one tried to stop them.
There was a well-worn buffalo trail near our house that led to the Yellowstone River. Our first sheriff, -Robert Guy, said when he was younger, he had seen so many buffalo swimming there, crossing the river that a person could have walked across the river on their back. They crossed the river there to go farther north for the summer. We used the old buffalo trail to go fishing in the Yellowstone River. Helen and Ruth caught a 38-pound sturgeon, didn't know what it was, and needed help to get it home.
We never had a doctor, church, bank or saloon at Big Itorn. From the time we arrived Mc. as he was known there was busy ranching and helping with community projects. He also had a contract for the mailstage up Tullock. That was where Rolla B. became an experienced driver quite young. Mc was a discerning, kind, and understanding father, fair with each of us. He was a good rifleman and got his quota of game each year. He enjoyed fishing, too, but always found time to help his neighbors when needed.
The first two winters we were there, eggs were $1.20 a dozen, other groceries were high too.
Many families had their own way of spending the long winter evenings. At our home we had music and jam sessions. We enjoyed it as much as any of the friends that came. We had banjo, guitar, mandolin, trumpet, saxophones, violin and piano. They also recorded on an Edison cylinder record phonograph. If the recording did not satisfy the musicians, it could be erased by a purchased solution and the cylinder could be used again for recording. Huldah kept the refreshments ready for all to enjoy. Many families had card parties, others had skating parties but everyone danced, the young, the old and in between. When the Big Horn Irrigation Project was started Mc was made secy-treas, which kept him busy, for they decided to build a dam on the Big Horn river to irrigate the valley. It took a long time.
Helen L. McCoy and John C. Lawless were married December 25, 1912. They built a home near the store after their marriage. Ruth McCoy and Rich R. Hope were married at Billings, Montana, June 30, 1915 and moved to his ranch on Tullock. Rolla B. attended school, helped with the ranch work, played baseball, basketball, and developed into a strong swimmer. In 1922 he went to Kansas City, Kansas to stay with his sister, Ruth and finish high school. In 1928 Mc and Huldah moved to Billings and lived there until his death, March 24, 1933. There was a short service for him in Billings and at his request he was brought to Creighton, Missouri for burial in Grant cemetery. Huldah stayed in Billings for a few months, then went to Washington state, where she later married a Mr. Loop.
John Grey Tedder and Sally A. Dickey, born July 28, 1826, were married in Tennessee before coming to Missouri. They had 4 children. Martha Jane born October 21, 1848, married William Rennick McCoy and was the mother of John William McCoy, the subject of this sketch, and his sisters, Lennah, Louella and Myrtle. Samuel born October 27, 1861, died in 1852, James E. and Mary Ellen were twins, James died in 1882 (date from tombstone) and Mary Ellen married Lee Parker. They had 4 children. Ralph and wife, deceased, had no children, Phrone, married J.D. Helms, had one son, Marvin, Letitia married George Carson, had one son, George and Lola Grey married Frank Gardner, no children. She lives at Olathe, Kansas. Salley A. Kickey's sister, Jane H. born February 23, 1820, married John B. Smith in Tennessee before coming to Missouri. They had two daughters, Sarah and Teresa who died in infancy. Her husband died several years before her death, June 5, 1887. They are buried in Kepner cemetery. She was the great aunt who kept John William and Lennah E. McCoy in her home after the death of their mother.


Ruth McCoy, daughter of John William and Bessie B. Walker McCoy, married Rich R. Hope June 30, 1915 at Billings, Montana. We lived on his ranch on Tullock Creek. We were busy getting our place stocked with cattle and horses and making the land produce enough feed to take care of the stock during the winters. We lost our infant son the day after his birth, July 16, 1916. He was born in Billings, Montana and buried in Mountview cemetery there. IN the fall of 1917we bought 100 head of cows with calves by their sides and kept making improvements, fencing and buying more land and producing more feed. In the fall of 1918 beef prices were high. Rich decided to ship enough yearling steers to pay off our indebtness, although older more experienced ranchers advised him to hold them another year. It was well he did ship them. The next fall he shipped the remainder of them, and although they had had another year's growth, they brought less than half of what the yearlings did, shipped one year earlier. But World War 1 was over. Soon our area was full of influenza. We both had it at the same time and Rich died Jan. 11, 1919 at a Hospital in Billings, Montana, and was buried at Mountview cemetery beside our son. I continued on the ranch, Horses we had been selling to the U. S. Remount station for $125.00 per head, were not selling at all. My brother-in-law and I shipped 2 carloads of horses to the Miles City Sale ring. They did bring enough to pay the freight on them to the Sales ring which was only 156 miles away. Ben Hope and other horse wranglers rounded up a bunch of horses, took them down tin Wyoming and left them. We neede the range for cattle. After a couple of years, I sold the ranch to Ben Hope, took a business course and went to work for the Board of Public Utilities, Kansas City, Kansas. IN 1922 my brother, Rolla B. McCoy came to Kansas City, Kansas to stay with me and finish his last two years of High School. His first day at school someone called him Barney and the name stayed with him form then on. We continued together, both working until his marriage in 1937. Ruth McCoy Hope married Dean O. Berry March 14, 1942. Dan handled freight claims for the Milwaukee Railroad in Kansas City, Missouri. They built a home at 35 South 19th Street, Kansas City, Kansas in 1947 and are still at the same spot. We had Dean's daughter, Gail Jean, with us from 5th grade through high school and also had Dean's grandchildren here for several years of schooling. Linda Sue Jarvis was with us in 7th grade through high school. She finished College at Pittsburgh State and became an English teacher. She and Tim A. Teeter were married August 4, 1973, at Joplin, Missouri. They built a new home in Carl Junction, Missouri and have an 18 month old son named Toby. Dean's grandson, Danny Miller has been with us since he finished 1st grade through 10th grade. He is interested in acapella choir, has a nice tenor voice and is a good student. Dean retired in June 1968 from the Milwaukee Railroad after 45 years of service.


Rolla B. McCoy, son of John William and Bessie Belle Walker McCoy and Dorothy Lillian Thomas, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. B. Thomas, were married Sept. 27, 1937. After a few months they moved to Topeka, Kansas, where Rolla managed a bowling alley for a year or more. Their oldest son, James B. was born in Topeka. Not long after they returned to Kansas City, Kansas, they moved into the home where they continued to live while their sons grew up. Thy boys' names and birth dates are: James B., December 11, 1938; John Thomas, April 7, 1941, Robert William, September 16, 1942; Joseph Edwin, February 16, 1948; Richard Lee, September 13, 1949; Patrick R., July 8, 1954.
The boys all attended Abbott school, Northwest Jr., High and Wyandotte High School, except Patrick was at Shawnee Mission East for this last two years of high school. Four of them went on to the Jr. College. They are manufacturer's representatives, have a warehouse, and work together in the McCoy Co., Inc. Rolls B. managed bowling alleys and was a Pro-bowler for years. He was an instructor and did much to advance bowling in the greater Kansas City area.
He held man outstanding records in bowling. He was voted into the Greater Kansas City Bowling Hall of Fame, also the Wy-Jon Bowling Hall of Fame. He was very tolerant of other peoples shortcomings; felt that they did what they thought was best, at the time. He was a kind and understanding father, proud of his family. He was incapacitated by emphysema for some time and a bed patient for 2 years before his death. Dorothy was employed while Rolla B. was ill. She became ill with a serious heart condition in 1965. Rolla B. died December 11, 1967 and was buried in Grant Cemetery beside his parents, near Creighton, Missouri. Dorothy continued to stay in the home with the younger boys until her death July 3, 1970. She was interred in Chapel Hills cemetery, Kansas City, Kansas. John and Claudette Faust McCoy have a daughter, Patricia Ann, born October 15, 1968; and James B. has a little girl, Michelle Emily, born May 13, 1975
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